Welcome to the 40th edition of the Data Reaper Report!
For your convenience, this report has been translated into the following languages: русский, 中文, and 한국어.
Our Data Reaper Project, including the Data Reaper Live (Beta) has over 2,200 active contributors. Without them, this project would not be possible, so we’d like to thank all of our contributors for their help.
Class/Archetype Distribution | Class Frequency | Matchup Winrates | vS Power Rankings | Class Analysis & Decklists | Meta Breaker of the Week | How to Contribute | Credits
Number of Games
Class Frequency by Day
Class Frequency by Week
For the moment, Shamanstone appears to be over, with the class’ population crashing in response to the balance changes. Shaman does remain a relatively popular class though, but it has been eclipsed by Warrior. Aggro Shaman is now a fringe deck with modest representation, while Mid-Jade Shaman has established itself as the most popular Shaman archetype.
Pirate Warrior is now the go-to choice for many ladder players. The number of Warriors significantly rises at higher levels of play (ranks 1-5), where aggressive variants of the class make up nearly 30% of ladder opponents. It seems like the balance changes did little to hurt Pirate Warrior’s viability, for reasons we will mention later.
Jade Druid has seen a surge in play, with many players anticipating a slower Meta after the balance changes. The ridiculous potential of the archetype in a theoretical control Meta tempted many to jump on the Jade Druid train. While the biggest obstacle for Jade Druid’s ladder viability, Aggro Shaman, has shrunk in size, it’s unlikely that it’s enough to make Jade Druid one of the strongest decks in the new Meta. At higher levels of play, its numbers drop, and interestingly, Malygos Druid is seeing more experimentation.
Rogue is showing unprecedented diversity, with multiple archetypes being experimented with, but the biggest story of the week goes to a specific archetype, Water Rogue, which has exploded into the scene. It is far more popular at higher levels of play, which is a typical pattern of a newly discovered deck that is performing well. It will likely “trickle down” to the rest of the field as time goes on. Expect to see Murlocs when you’re on the bottleneck to legend. The age of Finja is upon us.
Zoo Warlock and Tempo Mage have returned to the Meta after being mostly extinct after the release of MSoG. These are decks that heavily rely on establishing early board control, something they struggled with due to the incredible fast starts that Patches decks possess. Now that Small-Time Buccaneer is no longer a threat, these archetypes can actually fight for the board with better success, and have established a modest ladder presence.
Priest is seeing more play after the balance changes, and we’re not surprised. Small-Time Buccaneer was a constant problem that Dragon Priest just could not remove efficiently in the early game. Much like other tempo-based decks that don’t run Patches, it stands a better chance of fighting for early board control.
Jade Druid’s rise has left anti-aggro archetypes in ruins. Control Warrior and Reno Mage being the main victims of its oppression, with Reno Priest also being a notable absentee at higher levels of play. Jade Druid’s presence is a constant bane to any deck that looks to counter aggression, as it annihilates decks built to exhaust the opponent out of resources and survive. The large presence of Pirate Warriors at higher levels of play may help establish a niche for these decks, but until the number of Druids drop by a fair margin, it’s unlikely they will break away from being niche. Reno Warlock is the only control deck with significant ladder presence, as it can fit win conditions into its build that are effective in the Druid matchup.
While Paladin and Hunter have seen modest rises in play over the past week, they remain absent at higher levels of play. It doesn’t seem like the balance changes did much to help these forgotten classes climb from the pits they’re in.
Note: Since we’ve reset matchup data from the time of the patch, and it’s still early in the month, we don’t have legend win rates to compute into these tables. We will mostly look at the 1-5 table in our analysis to gauge the potential of each archetype. Keep this in mind when drawing conclusions on the state of the Meta, especially regarding several archetypes that are more experimental and unrefined than others. Notice that the overall table has a large amount of high performing decks, which tends to be the case when the Meta is unsettled.
There’s a new king in the Meta and it is Pirate Warrior. While it is not oppressively strong at higher levels of play (not stronger than Aggro Shaman was for example), it is somewhat surprising to many people that it’s better than before the balance changes despite the hit to Small-Time Buccaneer. The explanation is simple: While Pirate Warrior’s early game isn’t as consistent or powerful (And our analysis before the patch showed that N’Zoth’s First Mate was a better turn 1 play), its biggest counter, Aggro Shaman, has significantly dropped in popularity. Part of the reason Aggro Shaman was so powerful is that it was an extremely effective deck against other aggressive decks with efficient removal tools like Spirit Claws and Maelstrom Portal (It had a 60% win rate against Pirate Warrior pre-patch). In addition to that, the rise of Jade Druid has suppressed its slower counters, like Control Warrior and Reno Mage, making the Meta even more favorable for Pirate Warrior to dominate.
Perhaps the most surprising result in this table is Dragon Priest making it to Tier 1. The change to Small-Time Buccaneer was a huge boon for Dragon Priest, and its matchups against the Patches decks look better than before. It does much better against Rogue, for example, and its good matchups against the Jade decks will likely keep it relevant. Another interesting phenomenon is that its matchup with Reno Warlock, which is usually considered to be quite unfavored, is close to 50-50 at the moment. This correlates with Jaraxxus getting cut from the most popular Reno Warlock builds at the start of this month. We’ll have to wait and see what happens to Priest as the month becomes more competitive, as it is a deck with a history of “hitting a wall” at higher levels of play. In addition, it remains vulnerable to Pirate Warrior’s plethora of early game weapons, which means that it’s unlikely to be able to unseat it from the top spot, but even so, a Priest deck has never looked this good since we launched the Data Reaper project.
Shaman is still a very good class; just not as good as it used to be. Mid-Jade Shaman has a pretty strong matchup spread with no glaring weaknesses, though there are a few decks in the current Meta that can challenge it. The more interesting result is how well Aggro Shaman is doing. This is one of the least refined archetypes after the balance changes and the current ladder builds are pretty suboptimal. Experimentation by multiple high level players is ongoing to find the best build for the current Meta, and it’s very likely to do better, perhaps even Tier 1 better, once it’s established on ladder. Watch out, Aggro Shaman may rise once again!
Water Rogue is legitimately one of the strongest decks in the game, and it’s very likely to do better since it has a wide variance of builds at the moment and is also in the process of much experimentation. It is very strong against midrange decks, and other decks that rely on minion pressure to control the board. It is also extremely strong in Rogue mirrors, which correlates with its increased presence at high levels of play. The deck has a lot of potential, and the Finja package is very effective in its shell. In Pirate Warrior, Finja appears to be less effective than the standard build, but if you’re building an aggressive Rogue deck, Finja is the way to go. Other Rogue builds, especially those that rely on Auctioneer, very much struggle to survive against the onslaught of Pirate Warrior.
The much anticipated dominance of Jade Druid appears to be well of the mark. While the deck is certainly stronger, and does better against aggressive decks than before, it’s still not enough to launch it into the upper tier of the Meta after the balance changes. Its bigger role in the current Meta is crowning aggression as the most dominant style of play, with Reno decks and other control decks that target aggression, suffering from its increased presence. Meanwhile, Malygos Druid’s score looks to be quite alright, and as a deck that is quite experimental, it may justify a small presence in the Meta.
Zoo Warlock is back, and while it isn’t as dominant as it used to be, it certainly has a spot on ladder, though things might get worse for it as the month draws to a close. Its biggest strength is its utter domination of Druid. It annihilates Jade Druid in ways no other deck does, so this one really good matchup carries it a bit. Should Jade Druid continue to be exposed as mediocre and go through a decline in play, there will be less wins available to Zoo. Reno Warlock is also not looking too impressive. Its biggest problem lies in its strength, which is flexibility. You can build the deck to make it better against high value midrange decks like Dragon Priest and Jade Druid. You can build the deck to make it better against aggressive decks like Pirate Warrior. You can’t do both, and the result is a lukewarm score. Reno Warlock is a deck that requires you to pay very close attention to your opponents. It does better when the Meta is predictable. Run Jaraxxus and Leeroy at lower levels of play; consider dropping some of the greed when you hit the wall of Pirate Warriors at rank 5.
Reno Mage is no longer the dominant force it used to be. From being one of the strongest ladder decks in the game, it is now a relatively average deck that only gets stronger at higher levels of play where there are less Druids and Priests and more Warriors. In a Meta that is no longer dominated by Aggro Shaman, Reno Mage certainly loses value, though it is still well positioned in the tournament scene. Tempo Mage moves from unplayable status into playable status. More diversity in classes in never a bad thing.
Paladin and Hunter are still unplayable. Anyfin Paladin is even weaker than before because its biggest nemesis, Pirate Warrior, is now the Meta’s top dog. Murlocs aren’t waiting around for a 10 mana combo these days, and Rexxar is licking his lips at the prospect of taming some dinosaurs to join his cause. Until then, his primary role is reducing Zalae’s sanity levels.
Class Analysis & Decklists
Druid | Hunter | Mage | Paladin | Priest | Rogue | Shaman | Warlock | Warrior
As was the case at the beginning of the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan era, Warrior has emerged to be the most popular class, with the majority of Warriors being Pirate Warriors. An increase in Jade Druid at the expense of Aggro Shaman and Reno Mage has led to significantly better matchups for Pirate Warrior, which offset the impact of the Small-Time Buccaneer change on its own performance.
Unlike Shaman, which lacks class specific 1-mana pirates, Warrior is still able to fall back on N’Zoth’s First Mate as a strong minion that pulls out Patches on turn 1. In fact, N’Zoth First Mate was shown in our pre-nerf analysis to be an even better opening than Small-Time Buccaneer in Pirate Warrior. The bottom line is that the shifting Meta towards a favorable field made Pirate Warrior stronger after the balance changes, and it’s unlikely to lose its place as the most dominant deck in the game unless another Meta shift occurs, such as a fall in the number of Jade Druids that would open up space for effective Pirate Warrior counters to re-emerge.
The top rankings at the end of the February season were spattered with Pirate Warrior decks. The consensus is that Small-Time Buccaneer is no longer good enough, but with other early game options being significantly worse, most lists have instead opted to bolster the mid-game, with Naga Corsair and Southsea Captain aiming to apply more sustained board pressure. Sjow seems to have had the most success, scoring a rank 3 legend finish with a list packing two copies of the aforementioned Naga Corsair and Southsea Captain. Some players opt to include Acidic Swamp Ooze to target the mirror matchup, while others have also utilized Bash. For example, Cursed used his Pirate Warrior build as well as Renolock to win the legend race on EU.
Another option is to play the Finja package, since Finja can be a game decider in many matchups when it’s dropped on turn 5, though unlike Rogue, Water Warrior hasn’t gained as much traction. Some players argue that Finja synergizes better with slightly slower midrange decks, while Pirate Warrior mostly aims to equip an Arcanite Reaper and kill their opponent by turn 6. Nicslay finished rank 10 with his take on Water Warrior.
Dragon Warrior has mostly been ignored since the balance changes, with Pirate Warrior having most of the spotlight. Though it doesn’t seem to be performing as well, most ladder lists are not very refined and the archetype hasn’t been figured out post-nerfs. The consensus has generally been that N’Zoth’s First Mate is good enough to merit jumping through a few hoops to play Patches. Most lists include Southsea Deckhand as a third enabler of turn 1 Patches, whereas others have experimented with Naga Corsair, Bloodsail Cultist or even Bloodsail Corsair, to varying degrees of success.
Weghuz peaked at rank 4 and finished top 10 with a rather unconventional Dragon Warrior list, playing Netherspite Historians, Blackwing Technicians and a single copy of King’s Defender. Dragon Warrior builds with The Curator also have obvious synergy with the Finja package, a concept that ZachO experimented with before the balance changes. Ersee took a slightly modified post-STB nerf list to the finals of the LanTrek event at Finlad, where it was one of his best performing decks.
Outside of these two archetypes, it’s slim pickings at the moment. Increases in Jade Druid and Dragon Priest have made it difficult for Control Warrior to get off the ground, with the only significant slower Warrior deck being Windello’s Control Warrior with which he hit legend, and wiRer’s Bolster Warrior, which he took to rank 5 within two days of the new season. As Jade Druid regresses, the Meta might end up being a bit more favorable for Control Warrior, but it looks to be in a miserable spot for now. Even Fibonacci has gone on hiding, until he comes up with something that works!
- Warrior Class Radar
- Sjow’s Pirate Warrior
- Cursed’s Pirate Warrior
- Nicslay’s Water Warrior
- Ersee’s Dragon Water Warrior
- Weghuz’ Dragon Warrior
- Windello’s Control Warrior
- wiRer’s Bolster Warrior
From being widely regarded as the best class in Hearthstone, Shaman took a huge hit in usage after the balance changes to Small Time Buccaneer and Spirit Claws, which have completely altered the Meta.
Aggro Shaman, the previous Meta tyrant, has relinquished this distinction after two of its staple cards were heavily nerfed. In spite of this, some players are piloting revamped versions of the archetype, without the pirate package, to good results. Note that most ladder players are still playing unrefined lists, so these new builds’ potential has yet to be figured out.
Noblord’s list is a good example of a build utilizing Doomhammers, while opting to include Thing From Below and Mana Tide Totem. Mana Tide Totem is a source of card draw that replaces Azure Drake (which is a bit clunky when paired with Doomhammer and has less synergy in the deck without Spirit Claws). Another option is to run Argent Squires and Horseriders, to give the deck a more consistent early game at the cost of longevity. Some players are also experimenting with Hammer of Twlight, which is an alternative source of damage to Doomhammer that isn’t as vulnerable to weapon tech, doesn’t pack a crippling overload, and frees up deck slots by not requiring Rockbiter, which is a weak card by itself. Nostam has won a LHS open cup by dominating with an Aggro Shaman build of this kind, so look out for Hammer of Twilight Aggro Shamans to start making their mark on the Meta.
Finja packages are everywhere at the moment, and they’re finding their way to Aggro Shaman as well. Orange piloted an Aggro Shaman build to Legend, which features both a Finja and a Jade package. The list also opts to run Hammer of Twilight instead of Doomhammer. Could Murlocs replace Pirates and propel Aggro Shaman back to the top of the Meta? It remains to be seen!
Mid-Jade Shaman, the more played archetype of this class, post-balance changes, also took a hit with Spirit Claws being a much weaker tool. However, the deck is still in a very strong position in the current Meta due to the sheer versatility of the class and the options available to it. Most builds have adapted by dropping the Pirate package and reverting back to the good old Tunnel Trogg/Totem Golem opening, which helps the deck get on the board early and enables blazing starts that its more aggressive counterpart is known for. The ladder trend is to focus on the Pirate Warrior matchup, which means the slower Jade cards, such as Jade Spirit and Jade Chieftain, are often omitted in favor of more consistent defensive options, or late game cards that have an immediate impact on the board, such as Al’Akir. For the same reason, Devolve is losing favor. Dwayna won the legend race on NA with his build, while Iner nearly did the same on EU.
Control Shaman is also around, though in lower numbers. SirVilgaudas has brought to attention the most interesting list, which utilizes Madam Goya and her synergy with the deck’s tremendously powerful minions. As long as Goya and Barnes avoid each other, you’re good to go!
- Shaman Class Radar
- Noblord’s Aggro Doom Shaman
- Nostam’s Aggro Twilight Shaman
- Orange’s Aggro Finja Shaman
- Iner’s Mid-Jade Shaman
- Dwayna’s Mid-Jade Shaman
- SirVilguadas’ Control Shaman
Jade Druid has surged in its popularity in response to the nerf to its biggest counter, Aggro Shaman, with many looking to capitalize on the deck’s potential in an anticipated slower Meta. While it has a much better chance facing Patches decks without the threatening presence of Small-Time Buccaneer, these matchups are still relatively unfavored, with Warrior, Shaman and Rogue able to outpace the Druid off the board quite often, and Dragon Priest also proving to be a difficult challenge.
The ladder Meta is also moving towards a more hostile environment for Druid, with Reno Mage, and other slower decks that fall prey to Jades, quickly losing favor. The potential rise in Zoo Warlock could also prove to be crippling to the class. Overall, Jade Druid stands better in the current Meta than the previous one, but remains a relatively mediocre option that will likely become even weaker as time goes on.
In terms of builds, Gallon’s Jade Druid looks like a strong option if you’re looking to dive into ladder play. The list cuts Jade Spirit, which is a slow card that will not save you from the onslaught of aggression. Instead, Raven Idols are included to provide the ability to tap into defensive options while also synergizing with Fandral, Auctioneer and Yogg-Saron, the latter beginning to see more play in Druid again due to its swing potential in a losing board state.
Ancient of Wars are also omitted in favor of Druid of the Claw, which is an earlier source of taunt that blocks a turn 5 Arcanite Reaper while also being more flexible.
Malygos Druid is also beginning to see more play, with Tictac and several other players having success with the deck early in the month. The deck has similar weaknesses to Jade Druid, being prone to early aggression and being run over, though when it does get to the late game, it wins in style with its explosive Kun enabled combo’s.
If you love the class and are too impatient to wait for turn 10 until you get to do some cool things, there is always Finja to calm your nerves. The issue with Menagerie Druid is inconsistency, as it doesn’t have the tempo generation tools that other classes possess, other than Innervate. But sometimes, you get the currently unappealing Druid/Hunter quest paired together with the Murloc quest, and you know it’s time to get serious.
Rogue has made a massive comeback to the very top of the Meta, and not in the way people expected. With Pirate Warrior being so dominant, Miracle Rogue finds itself struggling to survive in a Meta that is just as highly populated with aggressive decks as before, in addition to losing its edge in some matchups due to the loss of Small-Time Buccaneer. Aggro Rogue has suffered from the Small-Time Buccaneer nerf just when it seemed like it was about to take over, but from the Aggro Rogue shell, a new form of Rogue evolved: Water Rogue.
This aggressive archetype utilizes the Finja package better than any other deck in the Meta, with massive swing potential that can blow any opponent off the board into an unrecoverable state. It has a tremendously strong standing in the current Meta, and it is far from figured out. An optimal list has yet to be settled upon, with much experimentation being done to test its many flexible options, and fine tune it to the current environment.
The most common build is one originally piloted to a #1 legend finish last month by Dwayna, before the change to Small-Time Buccaneer. On the final day, after the changes, the build was altered and piloted to high legend finishes by multiple players, including Dwayna’s Fade2Karma’s teammate, Freakeh. This build includes the Curator, as well as one beast in Jungle Panther to synergize with it. A notable tech choice is Dark Iron Skulker, which helps in the Shaman matchup specifically, and can be replaced with a Stranglethorn Tiger to increase the consistency of The Curator.
ZachO modified the list further by shoring up its mid-game power, running two Tigers and two Naga Corsairs at the cost of a couple of 1-drops. This provides the deck with a more consistent curve from 3 to 5, and helps it dominate more attrition-based matchups, such as Reno decks and Dragon Priest, by possessing incredible longevity. This build is slightly slower in its playstyle and its main weakness is the mirror matchup.
Another variant that’s being experimented with was built by Luffy and Impact. This deck runs the 4 coin package with Counterfeit Coin and Tomb Pillager. The purpose of the coins is to act as mini-innervates and gain an immediate tempo advantage, cheating Finja earlier or creating a blow-out Van Cleef. This build attempts to target Pirate Warrior by outpacing it, and its playstyle is much more aggressive in nature, as it has a lower density of threats.
More experimentation is being done with Water Rogue variations, with the most notable efforts involving the “Stealth package” of Silent Knight in combination with Shadow Sensei that can lead to an extremely powerful turn 4 play. Apara hit legend very early in the month utilizing this package.
- Rogue Class Radar
- Dwayna/Freakeh’s Water Rogue
- ZachO’s Water Rogue
- Luffy/Impact’s Water Rogue
- Apara’s Water Rogue
- Standard Questing Miracle Rogue
Reno Warlock’s success in the current Meta is reliant on its ability to juggle its build based on the opponents it’s facing, with anti-aggro builds geared to improve the matchup against Pirate Warrior on one end, while heavier builds are geared to win control matchups as well as enable more win conditions to threaten Jade decks.
Cursed won the legend race on the EU server using Pirate Warrior and Reno Warlock. His Warlock list is unique as it includes Bloodsail Corsair along with Patches the Pirate as extra tech against aggressive decks, along with the Leeroy-Faceless combo. Tarei finished 2nd in the legend ladder last month with a more standard list that includes both the Leeroy combo as well as Jaraxxus.
After being absent from ladder since the release of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, Zoo Warlock is finally starting to see play again. Small Time Buccaneer and Spirit Claws were cards that were very heavy hitters against Zoo, and the balance changes have resulted in the deck being able to fight for early board control against Patches decks with more success. The two main variants of Zoo that players have been experimenting with, most notably Zanananan, are Patches Zoo that runs two Bloodsail Corsairs and focuses on the Pirate Warrior matchup, or Demon Zoo, which looks like pre-Gadgetzan Zoo with the option to add one to two Crystalweavers for more mid-game power. Zanananan finished top 100 last month with the standard list, and hit legend with the Patches list this month.
- Warlock Class Radar
- Cursed’s Reno Warlock
- Tarei’s Reno Warlock
- Zanananan’s Zoo Warlock
- Zanananan’s Patches Zoo Warlock
Dragon Priest looks to be one of the biggest winners of the balance changes. Small-Time Buccaneer was a thorn in its side, and the nerf has improved Dragon Priest’s matchup against all of the Patches classes to the point where Dragon Priest has very few weaknesses in the current Meta. Pirate Warrior remains a problem with its early game weapons and ability to beat the Priest off the board, but Dragon Priest’s matchups against Shaman, Druid and Rogue look very encouraging for the class. F_Ivanovic’s build adds a few tech cards in Acidic Swamp Ooze, Potion of Madness and Defender of Argus in order to improve the matchup against Pirate Warrior and aggressive decks in general, while Cipher’s build is more geared to beat Reno and Jade decks, with Ragnaros added as a late game threat that can bring an unsuspecting and exhausted control deck to its knees.
The ideas behind the deck remain the same: Curve out well and fight for early board control with your high statted minions while utilizing discover effects to generate endless resources against control decks in the late game. You have all the tools to out-value just about any deck in the current Meta with the correct allocation of resources except from a Reno Warlock that plays Jaraxxus, while Jade Druid’s potential infinite value does not matter when it cannot deal with the pressure of multiple high health minions in the mid-game while its late game taunts fall prey to extremely efficient removal that the Priest possesses.
Reno Priest still exists, but with Jade decks running rampant, it’s even weaker than it was before. Zetalot was messing around with a Shadowform variant late last season. It’s a fun deck to play. Zetalot also continues to try and shore up the interesting Djinni combo variant. It’s also a fun deck to play. But you know what’s fun and wins more games? Dragon Priest. Play Dragon Priest.
- Priest Class Radar
- F_Ivanovic’s Dragon Priest
- Cipher’s Dragon Priest
- Zetalot’s Reno Shadowform Priest
- Zetalot’s Djinni Priest
Prior to the balance changes, Mage was among the upper echelon of classes in the Meta. This was because of Reno Mage’s unique ability to stifle aggressive decks, burn out Midrange decks, and out value non Jade Control decks. While aggressive decks are still prevalent after the patch with the rise of Pirate Warrior, Aggro Shaman’s numbers have drastically fallen, which has led to the rise of Jade Druid, a deck that also does better against Patches decks than it used to before the change to Small-Time Buccaneer. Jade Druid dominates Reno Mage, so its rise, as well as the rise of other midrange decks that carry plenty of late game resources, such as Dragon Priest and slower Jade Shamans, puts Reno Mage in a very precarious position on ladder where it is strong against the most popular ladder deck but is extremely weak to the rest of the field.
Meanwhile, Tempo Mage is seeing some resurgence. The balance changes took an extremely powerful 1-drop away from several aggressive decks, which gives Tempo Mage a superior 1-drop in Mana Wyrm that can no longer be easily countered by the 3/2 stats of Small-Time Buccaneer. However, Tempo Mage still generally struggles against Shaman and Priest, so while it is no longer in an unplayable state on ladder, it has only improved to a status of mediocrity. Another potential spoiler to Tempo Mage’s viability is the rise of Zoo Warlock. Should Zoo gain more traction on ladder, it will become another deck that poses a serious challenge to the Mage’s ability to gain early board control.
Both Tempo Mage and Reno Mage have changed very little recently in terms of cards choices or overall game plans, with Reno Mage establishing more of a tournament niche in anti-aggro line ups. Reno Mage has two diametrically opposed win conditions of cycling and playing a Freeze Mage style game or going for a pure value fatigue plan. After the dust has settled, it appears the more burn-oriented list might be stronger since it possesses the ability to carry out a plan that actively ends games, which is extremely important if you’re facing decks that you cannot consistently exhaust of resources, such as Jade Druid, Jade Shaman or Dragon Priest.
At the moment, the Mage class appears to be the biggest loser of the balance changes, and in order to be able to establish a stronger foothold on the current Meta, the oppressive levels of Jade Druid will have to go down first.
Well, the long-awaited balance changes happened, and sadly, it doesn’t seem like they’ve done much for Paladin in the short term. More importantly, with the inclusion of the Finja package in what seems like every other class, Paladin’s main bread-and-butter, Anyfin Paladin, isn’t so special anymore.
Anyfin is the still the class’ primary representation on ladder, with the failing Midrange Paladin lumbering behind along with a mish-mash of experimental archetypes. Shoop managed to finish in the top 200 last month with an N’Zoth Paladin build, which was the only notable achievement for the class we could find.
Perhaps once the post-balance-change Meta settles someone will find a way to make Paladin great again, but currently it seems to be failing on ladder because it either gets outvalued by Jade/Kazakus decks or gets overrun by Patches decks. Maybe a safer bet will be to wait for some new cards instead.
- Paladin Class Radar
- Senfglas’ Anyfin Paladin
- Yagut’s Anyfin Paladin
- Thijs’ Anyfin Paladin
- Shoop’s N’Zoth Paladin
With new balance changes, comes a new Meta, but still no Hunters in sight. Although the class’ play rates nearly doubled after the patch came out, players quickly realized that Hunter is still hot garbage and abandoned it for a class which can actually win games.
One player who refused to abandon Hunter all of last month was Zalae. He challenged himself to hit legend with Hunter, and after playing over 400 games, ended up peaking at rank 3 with a 51% winrate. By the end of the month, Zalae was playing what is still likely the best build of Hunter, which is the Murloc Secret deck. The deck takes advantage of the nerf to Spirit Claws by including Fiery Bat as an additional early game threat to compete for the board until the swing turns of 3 (Huntress) and 5 (Finja) come.
Zalae and Dog have also been working on heavier builds of Midrange Hunter, incorporating Mistress of Mixtures to contend with aggressive decks alongside two Call of the Wilds and N’Zoth to swing games to an insurmountable lead against Druid.
Bottom line, Rexxar will likely have to wait for the incoming stampede of Dinosaurs before he becomes relevant again.
Dragon Priest is in the strongest state it’s ever been, and it’s particularly powerful at the climb to rank 5 where the Meta is more diverse. On the bottleneck to legend, it may be wise to either tech against the Pirate Warrior matchup, or switch to another option. We’re also big fans of the potential of Water Rogue. It’s a very strong deck against the field and the matchup with Pirate Warrior is quite close and can be overcome. There isn’t a particular opponent that is too tough to handle, and the archetype is quite flexible and can be geared to beat most decks.
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Dragon Water Warrior needs to be Hydra Warrior. Dragon Water is such a mouthful.
Let’s celebrate it together, my friend 😀
Hello VS team,
Good work as always.
We can celebrate the END of SHAMANSTONE.